Japan imported substantial amounts of tropical timber in the post-World War II period and the environmental impact of this on the rainforests in Southeast Asia has generated considerable controversy. This paper seeks to explore the environmental impact of Japan’s involvement in Southeast Asia with particular regards to forestry and examine whether Japan can play a positive role in promoting sustainable development in Southeast Asia, especially in countries where major deforestation has taken place. Environmental impact of economic development has gained considerable attention especially since 1970s and sustainable development became crucial to consider. As a significant ODA provider and a consumer of imported forest products, Japan has an important role in supporting sustainable forestry in Southeast Asian countries and helping overall sustainable development in the region.
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